Whether you've ever wanted to work remotely, or wondered about it but never tried it, thousands of companies and millions of people are being forced to consider the possibility of having to work remotely as the coronavirus aka COVID-19 spreads around the world.
Remote work is not new, in fact, remote work isn't the future of work — it's the present. You only need to look to job boards and ask any job seeker to find out that many new jobs now offer remote work or are offered by fully remote companies.
Remote work is being considered by government agencies as well as large corporations as a safety measure to prevent further spread of COVID-19 within their local community and their work environment. Companies offering remote work often create remote team to work on and most employees doing remote jobs are doing it full-time, whereas before this pandemic, some employees were able to work from home part-time.
In addition, remote work is also forced upon those who are asked to voluntarily self-quarantine due to exposure to the virus. Remote work is not just for those answering phones working in customer service or customer support, we are seeing whole industries go online and remote!
This is a scary time for all of us, no matter where you live as nearly everyone in the world is affected by the rippling events this virus brings, one way or another.
The latest headline from Forbes makes it clear that companies and their workforce all around the world will need to pivot: "Coronavirus Is Creating A Watershed Moment For Remote Work".
If you have been put on 'remote duties', or know someone who is, this article is for you!
Who Do You Look To When In Crisis?
When in crisis, I look to the experts; those who have experienced what I am about to experience.
In this case, I suggest that those employees who are forced to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak look to those who've already successfully worked remotely, and continue to thrive as remote workers.
I happen to be one of these remote workers.
I've been in business for nearly ten years. As my business grew and family life evolved, so did my workspace and my habits. I started out working remotely at a kitchen table, with four children at home.
I have worked in coworking spaces, but found working from home more efficient after all. I currently work in a dedicated home office with only one teenager left in the nest.
Working in marketing for nearly 10 years, I’ve seen a rise in work from home jobs, particularly in the social media management space!
Working remote has downfalls and rewards. It can be scary, lonely and hard, yet can be fun, rewarding truly life-altering at other times.
My personal rewards come in the form of
freedom to work when I want
opportunity to work from anywhere in the world
time with family, friends and pets (see below)
Marketers Meet in a World Gone Crazy
Just this week, I returned from the largest gathering of social media experts, Social Media Marketing World. Despite conferences being canceled all around the world, and travel halted for many employees, #SMMW20 went on as planned.
With coronavirus fears looming over events that are being canceled all over the world, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner trekked forward with the globe’s largest social media marketing conference, Socal Media Marketing World, held in San Diego from March 1 to 3.
One of the many reasons I attended despite warnings to restrict travel and fear of contracting COVID-19 is the human element. Because I work alone and remotely, I needed this 'fix' of human contact; Social Media Marketing World is my yearly trek to reconnect with online friends and community member IRL.
How To Keep Sane in a World Gone Crazy; Let's Ask The Experts!
Once I got home from my trip to San Diego, I realized just how fortunate I am to have this amazing career, and do it all while working remotely, in my home office.
I, along with millions of others, have been watching helplessly as panic about the coronavirus outbreak set in across the globe. Feeling helpless at this time as the world panics doesn't do much good.
Besides practicing good hygiene and praying for a quick end to this pandemic, I looked for something else I could do...
Today, I stopped feeling helpless and took action!
I asked my marketing friends to assist me with a special mission. I asked them for their very best tips, tricks and hacks to help make remote life easier for those who are new to it.
The ultimate goal was to spread a blanket of encouragement and kindness in a time of fear to make this scary time a bit more manageable and a bit more tolerable.
Marketing experts from all over the world answered my call for help! They have put forth their best tips, tricks, and also encouragement for those who now are faced with job uncertainty and yes, remote work!
The Best Tips For Starting Out With Remote Work, Sprinkled with Encouragement and Love from Those Who Live It!
If you are struggling with this new routine of working remotely, for whatever reason, feel free to reach out to me, or to any of us for that matter. I'd be happy to be your guide, connect online and invite you into my communities!
Enjoy these amazing remote working tips from remote workers around the world. They live in Canada, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Philippines, Ireland, France, Australia and in the USA - VT, CA, MA, NJ, VA, NC, TN, SC, TX, AZ and NY.
I have worked remotely for many years.
I think the biggest idea is to find a way to not be distracted by the normal routine of home, including social media, the TV, the yard, the kids, etc.
Somehow you have to have the discipline to "go to work" each day. Maybe that means moving to another space like a bedroom or a coffee shop if you don't have a proper home office. Stay focused and make sure your family understands what is happening and why it is important to have some workspace. They need to know that you aren't ignoring them, you're working and that is a way of loving them. Working at home can be fun, and it won't be forever. I have worked at home for years and I love the flexibility and increased productivity that comes from not commuting!
Working remotely has its good and its bad, but you can make the transition for your team way easier by implementing coworking calls.
Coworking calls emulate a physical office setting simply by jumping on a group video call, using a tool like Zoom.
Let your team know when these calls will be happening, giving them the security they won't be suddenly all left to fight for themself. To keep these calls on task allow for a short meet and great catchup chat followed by everyone muting their microphone and getting to work. Allow periodically for chat breaks to encourage questions to be asked and allow your team to get clarification from the team if needed.
Have a clear task list and use a time tracker, so you have to label the task that you're working on in the current moment. If you get distracted (it happens to the best of us), you can refer back to the time tracker so you know what you should be working on. Plus, seeing how much time you just wasted on the distraction gives you the kick to refocus on the task you should be doing. Remote working has fewer interruptions, so you're much more productive. You get back the hours of your day you would have spent commuting, and you're able to do the same volume of work in less time.
Build in breaks. Stand up, stretch, go for a walk around the block.
Be deliberate in your time.